Monday 11 April 2011

Today's Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Look at that logo. Ain't it awesome? Thanks Robin, for making it almost two months ago and making me leave it sitting in my inbox so I don't forget to use it.

Yes, the seventh Harry Potter movie is out on Blu-Ray, or DVD if you're poor or scared of the future. Harry Potter is Britain's main export, slightly ahead of tea and bad teeth. We've been watching Harry Potter movies for 11 years now, and it's almost over. Sigh. But, it's been a good 11 years, and clearly an elongated acting class for our three intrepid main characters, as in the first movie they were absolutely terrible at acting and now they're pretty damn good.

If you don't know the story up until this point, then I really don't know why you're reading this review. Also, Snape kills Dumbledore. So, at the start of Deathly Hallows we find Lord Voldemort's power ever increasing, and everyone in constant fear of him once again. Eventually he takes over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts, so there's no going back to school for Harry, Ron and Hermione. I remember reading the end of Half Blood Prince and dreading the fact that the next book wouldn't be set in Hogwarts. In some ways my fears were justified, because a large portion of Deathly Hallows takes place in dark forests.

But that's the best thing about Harry Potter. It kind of grew up with you, if you started reading it when you were 11 I guess. But what started off as a light hearted adventure with an element of danger quickly spiraled into a very dark apocalyptic murder-fest when J. K. Rowling decided it would be fun to kill everyone. The same tone is very much reflected in the movies, the first was extremely bright, especially when it was snowing. Deathly Hallows, on the other hand, has a lot of dark scenes. By natural progression, I can only assume that the final part will be pitch black, which will help cut back on visual effect costs.

But yes, dark forests. There's a lot of them in Deathly Hallows. Whenever Harry, Ron and Hermione escape they seem to end up in one. It's a bit boring, but at least they change it up a bit by going to dark villages and things. The Ministry of Magic scene, though, is very fun to watch, if not only because of Harry's inexplicably weird walk.

As you can tell by my superficial jibes, there's nothing seriously wrong with this movie that I can make fun of. The atmosphere is spot on, you really feel a great sense of hopelessness for the heroes, and rejoice when they actually manage to do something apart from hiding in a tent. The acting is probably the best it's been too, as everyone's grown up and really scared and that makes for good shouty bits where people really let go. But despite all the drama, the standard humour and occasional "bloody" are all there in good measure. Deathly Hallows is a fine entry in the series, and is really keeping up with the standard that has been set by the last six movies. Let's just hope they don't fuck up the last one.

My rating: 4/5

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